Local schools implementing new cell phone rules

KINGSFORD — Cell phones have become an imminent distraction for most of its users, but what about in the classroom? How can students actively learn when constantly checking their inboxes?

We all have them and we all frequently check them, but what about their place in the classroom? Local schools are implementing new guidelines that would leave cell phones out of the classroom.

“They can bring them to school, they need to be left in their lockers or in their automobiles, where they are safe. They are not to be brought into the classroom,” said Kingsford High School Principal Lyle Smithson.

These guidelines were introduced in the middle of the 2016-2017 school year and after being implemented during the last semester, they are now being carried on to the upcoming school year. Although students can’t bring their phones into the classroom, they are still able to access them throughout the day.

“They can use them before school, during passing time which is a five minute passing time at Kingsford High School, during their lunch period, or after school,” said Smithson.

The only exception to having a phone in the classroom is if a teacher requests the students to bring their phones for an educational activity or project. For students consistently checking their phones, distractions from actively learning are unavoidable, which has prompted the guidelines to be enforced.

“During instruction time in the classroom, what we were finding is that when students were able to bring them into the classroom, they were regularly checking their emails and texts. It was just a distraction, students were becoming disengaged during that period of time from the learning that was taking place,” said Smithson.

Since the guidelines have been implemented, faculty members have noticed stronger student engagement in the classroom, which is an impact that parents don’t mind seeing either. “It’s been very supported by our parental community because of the positive effects that they have seen,” said Smithson. Other local school districts have been inspired to use similar guidelines in their classrooms, including Gwinn Are Schools.

In the future, it’s planned for teachers and faculty to continue enforcing these guidelines for all students.